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Oxon beat Bucks by 4 in HCL

Oxfordshire men beat Buckinghamshire by four shots in their penultimate Home Counties League game of the season at Kidlington on Saturday.

Despite losing on four rinks the results of Chris Earl’s and George Schwab’s respective fours saw the team home 101-97 and 14 points to 8 in this bottom of the table clash. Several enforced changes to the team saw Earl move to skip in place of the absent Ian Snowdon and romp home by fifteen shots against Ray Gaskins.
His re-arranged four of City & County team mate Paul Comley, Banbury Central’s Nigel Galletly and last minute call up, county secretary Steve Tolhurst found the green to their liking to win fourteen ends and finish highest winning rink over Gaskins who himself is rumoured to be an Oxon player next season. Earl was pushed all the way for top rink by Schwab’s under 25s four.

The Banbury Borough man, with Banbury Central star Shane Cooper at three, Joe Woodward on his home green and Sam Watts of Watlington won the first seven ends to establish a ten shot lead over Don Savage which opened to thirteen at the end. This is the second time an Under 25s rink has won well against Bucks in the HCL which shows once again the strength in depth being created in the county.

Elsewhere Headington skips Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett all lost by 2, 7 and 8 respectively. Bicester’s 16yr old Dan Swanson and Ian Kibblewhite of Headington both made their debuts for the county on Henwood’s rink. The sixth rink skipped by Alan Ley lost by seven.

Oxon face Middlesex at West Ealing in the last game of the campaign next Saturday. Seven points would see us climb from the basement position to fifth in the final table. Nineteen points would see fourth place taken from Middlesex themselves.

Oxfordshire 101, Buckinghamshire 97
14 pts, 8 pts

Mark Charlett 15, D Simpson 23
Chris Earl 24, Ray Gaskins 9
Jason King 13, Brett Long 20
Ian Henwood 16, David Rose 18
Alan Ley 13, Paul Gositt 20
George Schwab 20, Don Savage 7

Full report: Report HCL v Bucks 300814

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